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Old 01-15-2019, 09:26 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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New budget gaming desktop

My desktop appears to be dying. For a while now, plugging anything into a usb port turns the monitor off and breaks the internet, such that I have to run an easyfix repair utility (and reboot) to get the internet back up. Yesterday the internet stopped working for no reason, which was a first. I ran the easyfix, rebooted, all good. This morning it happened again but now the easyfix repair tool can't fix it, so I can't use the internet anymore.

The computer is an iBuypower budget gaming box from 2013 that cost $400. I'm deciding between trying to repair it vs just buying a whole new computer. Which would you recommend? If buying a new computer, I would want to stay under $600; again, any recommendations?

My gaming needs are modest. The most advanced game I play is Starcraft 2.

Apologies for typos; I'm stuck with a tablet for internet and typing with a stylus sucks.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:24 AM
asterion asterion is online now
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Buy a new computer. Just the advances in integrated graphics and CPU will make a difference. Dell's basic XPS tower would probably do it, and have the advantage of being upgradable if you want more power later.
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Old 01-15-2019, 11:07 AM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Well after eating I went back to the desktop to refresh my backups (last done two days ago, so not much to refresh) and the internet is working again. I should probably do the research now so when it inevitably dies I can immediately order a replacement.

Is integrated graphics good nowadays? My previous computer had integrated graphics but it struggled even with some old games like DDO. This current (dying) computer has a super low-end video card (NVIDIA GeForce GT 630) and it handles the games I play light years better than the previous computer's integrated graphics.

Also, apart from graphics, the new computer will come with Windows but can I transfer everything else to the new computer without having to re-buy it? Mainly Microsoft Office, but also the couple dozen or so free games I have from Steam, HumbleBundle, etc...
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:00 PM
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Atamasama Atamasama is offline
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Get a discreet (non-integrated) graphics card. Even if you cheap out on the rest of the machine, if you have a reasonable graphics card that will be the most important component of your machine when it comes to what games you can play and how well they’ll run. Even a card between $100-200 will make a huge difference.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:24 PM
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Teuton Teuton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
Get a discreet (non-integrated) graphics card. Even if you cheap out on the rest of the machine, if you have a reasonable graphics card that will be the most important component of your machine when it comes to what games you can play and how well they’ll run. Even a card between $100-200 will make a huge difference.
It will if you want to play modern AAA titles, but if you genuinely don't have gaming needs that extend past Starcraft 2 they you really don't need to spend the cash.

Integrated graphics are fine. Any motherboard you buy now will have a slot for a graphics card, so if you run into problems because you feel a sudden desire to play Elite Dangerous or something then you can always buy a discrete card later.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:25 PM
asterion asterion is online now
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Steam is just a reinstall. I've never bought through HumbleBundle, but I'd expect the same. Office will depend more on if you've got the install discs. A straight copy is unlikely to work.

As I said, the integrated graphics are supposed to be better. They'll never replace a dedicated GPU, but if your most taxing game is SC2, I'd expect it to work. Blizzard recommends an Intel Core i5 and a GTX 650, but you can run it on an old Core 2 Duo and Intel HD 3000 graphics.

The XPS tower I mentioned has an i3-8100 which means it should have a UHD Graphics 630 on it. That should be plenty. It's $50 for an internal DVD-RW. The trade-off is an Inspiron desktop at about the same price, which comes with an optical drive and a better processor, but fewer ports and less expandability.

I compromised with an Inspiron 5680 at around $1200, with the i7 processor and the GTX 1060. Not as fancy as the XPS or the Alienware, but still expandable enough and it's been plenty powerful for my needs. Especially considering the newest game I've played on it is XCom 2.
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Old 01-15-2019, 01:07 PM
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Steam is just a reinstall. I've never bought through HumbleBundle, but I'd expect the same.
Most humble bundle stuff gives you a steam key.
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Old 01-15-2019, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Ellis Dee View Post
My desktop appears to be dying.
Let's try a basic check first: open up your PC WHEN IT'S OFF and look for dust and insects. Give it a good shake because a likely problem is an electrical short caused by an insect. Try compressed air and make sure you blast underneath. While you're at it, look for blown / domed or leaking capacitors
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:59 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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Let's try a basic check first: open up your PC WHEN IT'S OFF and look for dust and insects. Give it a good shake because a likely problem is an electrical short caused by an insect. Try compressed air and make sure you blast underneath. While you're at it, look for blown / domed or leaking capacitors
Great advice, thanks much.


So good news, the internet went out again this afternoon but then my tablet also couldn't connect to the internet. After resetting the router both the computer and tablet are back up and running.

It's possible the computer isn't dying at all, and that it was just the router. Fingers crossed!

I'll keep a close eye on it (and up to date backups) but for the time being I'm crossing my fingers and hoping the computer is fine. I love this computer and really don't want to have to set up a new one. It takes me forever and a day to do all my little customizations.
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Old 01-16-2019, 06:22 AM
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I'm guessing your PC connects to the router by wifi. Are you in a block of flats or urban environment? Download this wifi monitoring app and look to see which channel your router is using and if you should change it. (See the left-most screenshot.) It may be that the wifi channel is overloaded.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:02 PM
Hoopy Frood Hoopy Frood is offline
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Also, make sure you aren't running a microwave oven when you're talking to your Wi-Fi. Both microwaves and Wi-Fi are frequently running at the same radio frequency of 2.4 GHz. It's even worse if the microwave is located between the router and the thing trying to talk to the router.

Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, and cordless phones also frequently operate in or near that frequency.

Heck, even toaster ovens, electric blankets and heating pads, ultrasonic devices (bug zappers, motion detectors, etc.), and touch controlled lamps can sometimes interfere.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:54 PM
carnalito carnalito is offline
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Use wired LAN isf possible... Always better than wifi.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:06 PM
Ellis Dee Ellis Dee is offline
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I'm using wired LAN; the wire comes out of the router. It wouldn't make a huge difference though, since the router is 3 feet from my desktop and there isn't anybody else within 1000 feet.
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